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Basic Research

Research is a multistep process. The UMSL library provides many kinds of resources.

Identify Research Methods in Articles

When reviewing research resulting from your search, begin by reading the abstract. The abstract can help you identify the methodologies used in the study. Often research articles include a section that describes the methods used in more detail.  

Quantitative and qualitative methods are the two main categories of empirical research.  

 

Quantitative

Qualitative

Perspectives
  • experimental
  • statistical
  • positivist
  • naturalistic
  • ethnographic
  • phenomenological
  • anthropological
  • interpretive
  • constructivist
Focus or Goals
  • describe with statistics
  • test theories
  • show relationships
  • predict
  • obtain a single true reality
  • develop understanding and meaning
  • describe naturally occurring behavior
  • describe multiple realities
Design
  • structured
  • predetermined
  • specific
  • contrived
  • emergent
  • evolving
  • flexible
  • natural
  • holistic
Techniques
  • experiments
  • questionnaires
  • surveys
  • structured observations or interviews
  • observations
  • open-ended interviews
  • field research
  • case studies
Data Analysis
  • deductive
  • statistical
  • interpretive
  • inductive
  • ongoing
  • searching for themes
  • text analysis


Adapted from: McMillan, J. H. (2012). Educational research: fundamentals for the consumer (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.